Thursday, August 24, 2006

Classroom Management, Part Three

More excerpts from last year:

What is currently your biggest classroom management challenge and why?
MTC Class of 2005

-My biggest challenge right now is the teasing that goes on in my classroom. I feel somewhat helpless—I am not sure how to really stop it altogether.

-Getting kids to settle down in my 4th period class sometimes I feel that it’s chaos. This is the class with a lot of special education students and behavior problem students. Also it’s my lunch period class. I can get them to behave during lunch but not in class. I think I might have to change my consequences and management especially for this class, but I don’t know what! I’ve tried changing their seats and it didn’t help.

-ANTONIO: He wants a confrontation, he wants attention, he want to disrupt the class, and he does. The class and I both get annoyed by him, but I don’t want to give him the satisfaction of sending him out of constantly getting on to him. Yet I know he has it in him to do well in my class, and at times he is well-mannered and hard-working in my class. (This is the same student with the anger management issue.)

-What do you do for students who always get in trouble, and therefore are desensitized to any type of discipline action?

-My problem child who I’ve been having problems with lately is slowly coming along. I send him out when I have problems and class moves along much smoother now. However, he’s also taken to going to the office to have a chat with the principal at the beginning of 6th period and arrives in the middle of my well ordered, quietly working class. He sullenly present himself, refuses to look at me and frequently doesn’t answer until I’ve said his name 2-3 times. The kids in the class and my principal both are telling him he can’t afford to be acting this way in class. Friday, he did tell me that next week will be different. The principal is going to buy his football ticket and give him five dollars in his pocket if he can stay in my class and get his work turned in, so we will see!

-Pretty similar-multiple rule breakers (five kids singing?)
skipping class. I had seven students from the same period skip. A lot of kids don’t have respect for me.
-3rd period: here are three or four openly hostile trash-talking relationships (If I send one kid to the hall, does that mean the other has won?)

-My 8th period class has been completely changed. It is a study skills/MCT focus class. Many of the students don’t take me for language. According to the structure of the class, the students must work in learning centers. In those centers the students work independently, but may help each other in the group. They get a little loud, but they are actually really working. Should I bother with this or let it go?

-Getting everybody to work all the time. I got that kid, avery, to do all his work one day but for the rest of the week it was the same.

-Probably the same as before. Yesterday my 7th period went excellently although I’m not sure why there was such a difference. I’m going to continue to work with them.

-Fitting my personality into my teaching.

-I do not mean to brag, but right now I have control over my classroom (knock on wood!) The only thing that is a problem is the fact that when the kids come in to the room, it takes them several minutes to get quiet. I have board work for them to do when they enter the room. I think what I may start doing is timing board work once it is over, I simply collect papers. Their grades should then reflect their talking habits!

-Time management: classes still a bit rowdy, and I need to complete the process. I am not only directing their energy, but completing tasks in the projected time schedule.

-The plaganist kids have mellowed. His mother is on the warpath, unfortunately. I’ve anticipated her Tuesday meeting with Mr. Mac by photocopying the 2 papers and highlighting all the parts that were identical. I left that and a note explaining all evidence, identical grammatical errors.

-What is the consequence does not work? I’m still having the same problems that were discussed last week. Can we brainstorm different consequences besides sending students to the administrator? Essays don’t work in my class. My rewards do help but some students don’t care much about them. For these students I need effective consequences.

-Probably talking, still, but every now and then there are waves of not-quite-overt disrespect. Also, I’m still having trouble implementing consequences fast enough, and the kids don’t always take it seriously. I think they need something visual.

-Constant chattering/talking (also listed previously), getting the class’s attention, turning homework in.
-Am I being fair and consistent?

-Being consistent and punishing students for minor infractions

-It’s not really classroom management. It is more of an administration issue, as well as a Public Relations Campaign that needs to implemented at full speed.

-The smaller classes. After I teach I let them talk, but I do not let them talk the whole period. It’s really not a bother, because they all get their work done. But I don’t want them to think they can talk during class work time the whole school year.

I have one class (reading, not Latin) that constantly talks back and test me. “Why are picking on me, Mr. Jones?” I’ve never seen so much attitude from like 4 or 5 kids.

-My students say that having to raise their hands is “childish” I told them that in college they will have to raise their hands, and I’m trying to train them for that. Many of my students said they aren’t going to college, so they don’t need to raise their hands. Also, none of their other teachers make them raise their hands. I’m having a hard time making them want to control their talking.

-I still have problems with study skills. The lack of an established curriculum still seems to invite disorder. I also thin that the students can sense that I don’t take the class as seriously as my math classes.

-My biggest challenge is “senioritis.” Many of my seniors think they can fail tests, act childish, and still graduate. I keep warning them that they (most of them) need Drama to graduate. There has been a chain reaction among the seniors.

-Demetric. He seems to have serious emotional or psychological problems. The vice-principal is trying to help with him but the received a letter from his mother after requesting a conference with her (no father, of course) saying basically that she won’t come, she’s sorry, she’s given up on him. He has some kid of persecution complex, and any sort of discipline makes him worse, more firmly believing that I hate and disrespect him, despite what I say. Also: getting my lunch period back to class without chaos in the hall.

-Students still talking instead of working. I started giving out detentions-first one was on Friday. I’ll see if this is a more effective punishment that the more abstract demerits.
-When I am teaching I have control of my class, however, when the students are working independently or cooperatively it is hard keeping them on task.

-New and difficult students are still being added to my English II class. I’ve given each of them two free days to get them accustomed to me and my ways, but yesterday I gave one young lady a 400 word disciplinary essay and an office referral for leaving class without permission.

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